Nineteenth-century Louisiana governor William C.C. Claiborne allegedly said that the residents of New Orleans had such a penchant for dancing that they were downright ungovernable. And so it’s always been—there’s no sitting on the sidelines in Louisiana. Soon you’ll be scuffing up the floor with a room full of dance partners.
Here are some of the live music venues and locations you should kick up your heels and dance.
Along the bayous of Cajun Country, you’ll find impromptu jam sessions with fiddles and guitars in most coffee shops, and if you ask nicely, they’ll throw in a couple of dance lessons too. Learn the Whiskey River Jitterbug at Whiskey River Landing in Henderson, and then get a good night’s sleep before heading to Opelousas, where Slim’s Y-Ki-Ki Club heats things up with zydeco. The town also hosts Music & Market, a free concert series combined with a farmers market on Friday nights in the fall and spring. For a different morning experience, head to Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge to dance live music after you've devoured their famous Zydeco Breakfast.
If your stay includes a stop in Houma, you’ll have a Ph.D. in dancing before you leave. Wiggle and giggle to toe-tapping tunes at A-Bear’s Café on Friday nights and Bayou Delight Restaurant on weekends, and check out The Jolly Inn on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. About two hours north in Baton Rouge, Boutin’s is the place to learn the Cajun two-step.
Don’t leave the state without shimmying at an authentic blues juke joint. Roque’s Blues Hall in east Natchitoches will rock your soul. In downtown Shreveport, groove to the 1970s and ’80s music at Chicky’s Boom Boom Room, or strut your stuff to old school R&B at JOSH Lounge.
Learn more about where you can dance to live music in Louisiana.